Angels getting Brian Stokes for Gary Matthews Jr.

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Still no word yet on the money involved, but ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Angels’ return for Gary Matthews Jr. is reliever Brian Stokes, who has a 5.02 career ERA.
Stokes was fairly useful over the past two seasons, posting a 3.82 ERA in 103.2 innings, but he’s basically a 30-year-old, run-of-the-mill middle reliever. In other words, sounds about right in a swap for Matthews, although the Angels are obviously eating a huge chunk of his remaining contract to make the deal work.
UPDATE: SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Angels will be covering $21.5 million of the $23.5 million remaining on Matthews’ contract. So basically the Mets get him for two seasons at the total cost of $2 million and Stokes. As far as deals to acquire hugely overpaid, mediocre fourth outfielders go I suppose this isn’t a terrible one.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.